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Morena mixes genres

Co. weighs in with scary label, laffers

Madrid-based production company Morena Films is prepping a musical pic by Spanish helmer Carlos Saura (“Goya”) and launching a horror label, Trauma.

It also signaled that it will use Cannes to discuss with foreign-based production companies the possibility of producing English-lingo comedies aimed at the international market.

Entitled “La Iberia,” Saura’s upcoming film will draw on the works of Spanish composer Isaac Albeniz (1860-1909), mixing his operetta-style with modern Spanish dance and flamenco performed by leading Spanish artists.

“The film will be in the line of ‘Flamenco’ or ‘Sevillanas,’ a fusion of different styles,” says Morena head of TV Alvaro Longoria.

Budgeted at E2.5 million ($3 million), “La Iberia” will shoot in Madrid in late 2004.

The Trauma banner will focus on chillers rather than slashers or gore, says Morena film head Juan Gordon.

Budgeted at $2.5 million- $6 million, “the films will be psychological horror, mixing or moving between thrillers, suspense and horror, playing a lot on ambiguity, suggestion,” he added.

Morena has already created a comedy label, Happy Hour. An early title, the pop concert-set sex comedy “Slam,” grossed a healthy $1.8 million in Spain.

“Our idea is not just to make Spanish-lingo comedies but see if we can team with companies which make similar fare abroad, in the U.K. or France, for example,” Gordon said.

“Morena will now have two labels and produce more upscale, director-driven pics, such as Alvaro Fernandez Armero’s ‘The Truth and Other Lies.’ It means that people know what to expect from you, which makes it easier if you’re looking for longtime partners,” he added.

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